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Rediff.com  » Sports » Negi signs off with draw in Biel Chess Festival

Negi signs off with draw in Biel Chess Festival

July 29, 2010 10:51 IST

Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi ended his disappointing campaign with a draw against Maxime Vachier-Lagarave of France in the ninth and final round of the Young Grandmasters tournament, a part of the 43rd edition of the Biel chess Festival.

Negi, the second youngest GM ever in the world, finished with 2.5 points from a possible nine and is likely to lose important ELO rating points which will see him just around or below the 2600 ELO barrier.

The hope for the Indian is the fact that he goes to take part in the World Junior championship from here and the preparation from this event might come in handy in a longer and open tournament.

Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam provided the proverbial twist in the tale of this category-17 tournament defeating higher ranked Anish Giri of Holland in the final round.

Son, who started as one of the three Asians in the fray with little chance tied for the top spot along with Fabiano Caruana of Italy and top seed Maxiem Vachier-Lagrave of France on 5.5 points in all.

If his tying of the first was not enough, the Vietnamese, among the lowest ranked players here, had the best tiebreak score that qualified him to the finals of the play off ahead of the top two seeds and finishers who will now have to battle it out in the tiebreak games of shorter duration to qualify to the finals and meet Son later.

With three people equal first and only one decisive game in the final round, the standings did not change much except that Dmitry Andreikin finished a clear fourth on 5 points. The Russian drew his tense final game with Wesley So of Philippines.

Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia and Maxim Rodshtein tied for the fifth spot on 4.5 points along with Wesley So following a draw between them while Anish Giri finished eighth after his final round debacle.

Englishman David Howell finished ninth on 3.5 points while Negi finished at the bottom. Negi went for the sharpest line in the Sicilian Taimanov against Vachier who played black. The Indian apparently enjoyed an easy to play position in the middle game but was simply not interested at the fag end of the event having done badly. A draw was a just result in a complicated position in just 24 moves.

Truong Son's Reti opening came good against Anish Giri.

The approach of the Vietnamese player has been quite different here as he has always gone for uncompromising middle games instead of finding a new idea in the opening and that has paid big dividends. Giri got a decent position in the middle game but literary got outplayed in the nuances. The game lasted 59 moves.

Caruana played it safe with white against Howell in a Queen pawn game where the endgame was reached fairly quickly. Sensing he did not have any chance, Caruana decided to split the point in 26 moves.

In other games of the day, Rodshtein fought till move 60 before signing peace with Tomashevsky while in the longest game of the day, Wesley So played on till move 86 before achieving the same result against Andreikin.

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